The U.K. receives less sunlight than almost all of the USA?

I also find it amusing that film versions of a Christmas Carol show London looking like Siberia during a particularly harsh winter and covered in snow.

To be fair, I think that is on Dickens. He described it that was in the story.

Part of it is Dickens grew up in the coldest decade in the last 400 years. So he associated Christmas with snow.

I don’t know about the UK, but when I visited Ireland for a couple of weeks, it rained literally every single day we were there. Most days, it didn’t rain all that much, but it did rain at least some.

Might just be that we were there during the wet season, and other times of year would have less.

Our day trip to the Cliffs of Moher turned into a trip to the Massive Fog Bank of Moher. Didn’t look good on the way over, but I thought the fog would burn off eventually. Guess what: it didn’t.

The real problem is too many rain gods:

“And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.”**

― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I once read a book on landscaping, which claimed that grass was an artificial transplant to the US from England.

England is particularly well suited for grass, being relatively cool in the summer with a lot of cloud-cover. The US, by contrast tends to get hotter and sunnier, and is therefore not as well suited for grass, which requires more water pumped in. But since the US idea of a lawn came from England, the notion that a proper lawn consisted of grass got established here as well, even though this was not really the place for it.

There are certainly plenty of grass species which are native to the U.S.

That said, many of the grasses which are commonly used for lawns in the U.S. are imports. Two of the most common ones – bluegrass and ryegrass – are, indeed, imports from Europe. Fescue is another common type used in lawns, and while there are some fescue species which are native to North America, other fescue species are imports.

nm, ninja’d

I remember an anecdote about a bunch of tourists who were touring an estate that had been opened to the public. One guy knelt at the edge of the path and was storking the turf, then asked a passing gardener, “What does it take to raise a lawn like this?”

“About 800 years.”

This will be news to the wildebeests on the Serengeti…

There are 12,000 species of grasses flourishing in nearly every land biome on Earth, on every continent (including Antarctica).

But English lawn grasses are not every species, and their environmental tolerances are a little narrower than their fellow grasses.

Funnily enough, around here people often use an American grass or Australian grass for lawns, not an English one.

Are those grasses quite thick? It’s hard to guess scale and texture, but the Australian link reminds me of grasses I’ve seen used in hotter European countries, where they need to be more resistant to weather extremes, and require less watering. English grass tends to be fairly fine and soft in comparison.

They are broader-bladed than say bluegrass or ryegrass.

All the go on TV gardening programmes in the UK is meadow-turf planting: i.e., forget the perfect lawn, and all that feeding, weeding and manicuring, but give wildlife and the food chain a chance by letting the wild flowers grow. (Can you tell HOAs aren’t a thing here?)

As for the general question, if you saw our TV weather reports, you’d see lots of dynamic action with the weather sweeping in off the Atlantic. Small wonder there’s a lot of moisture up there.

They did magnificent wild planting at the London Olympics.

My local park has taken on the habit and leaves large swathes of grass to go wild in the summer - it even ropes off big areas in spring to stop us trampling the starlings who are all hiding in the grass.

Does terrible things for my hayfever, but I’m happy for the bees.

My (American) mom’s been doing that with her lawn for decades (though obviously with different native plants than a Brit would use).

Ireland has a lot of rainy days throughout the year. The biggest difference is not between winter and summer but between the east and west coasts. Parts of the west of Ireland get more than 2 metres of rain a year. Dublin and the “sunny south-east” get 750 mm/year. By comparison New York City gets 1,250 mm/year.

Same effect in the UK: the wet coming off the Atlantic either comes as clouds, or if it drops mostly does so to the west, and any range of hills forms a “rain shadow” to the east ( if I remember my school geography correctly).

Which is not to say we don’t get sunny days or sunny periods during a day.

The U.K. has north Atlantic weather, can be classified as a Temperate Maritime Climate, and ‘catches’ a lot of the rain clouds before they hit the continent. It’s warmed by the Atlantic Ocean which acts as heat reservoir, storing warm water through the winter. In the summer, due its thermal capacity it takes longer to warm up than the land around it and so has a cooling influence.

Rainfall is frequent but rarely extreme, so although we get less rain than many places it sure feels like more!

Yup, it was mostly the west of the island that we visited (basically following the coast from Cork to Galloway, with a little side loop to Knock).